Peggy DeMartin, who operates the Penney Square Salon in a building owned by she and her husband in downtown Milford, said that repairs are being made to her shop after a car crashed into it a few weeks ago. Ms. DeMartin said that the experience was frightening, both to her and her customers.
“The shop was full of customers,” Ms. DeMartin said. “Luckily, not one person was injured. I had a snowman sitting in a bench in the front of the shop and he took the full force of the crash. I am glad it was just a snowman and not one of my customers or my employees. I have been here 15 years and never experienced anything like this. I had two new girls working here with all their clients.”
Ms. DeMartin said that the glass was removed from the shop last week and that new windows were being installed in order to remove the large plywood pieces that had been in place since the accident. The salon remained open despite the broken windows and missing wall. Customers were instructed to use the front entrance on Walnut Street to get to the salon.
According to Sergeant Robert Masten of the Milford Police Department, the accident occurred when a 2000 Saturn failed to negotiate the turn when the operator attempted to correct an action, they overcorrected, causing the vehicle to leave the roadway and strike the building. Sgt. Masten said that the driver, who was 17, was issued a summons for Inattentive Driving. The driver’s name cannot be released by the department as they are a minor.
Sgt. Masten said that these types of accidents occur for a variety of reasons. He said that medical emergencies, impaired driving, mechanical issues and driver inattention are the most common reasons cars strike buildings. He said that the police always urge motorists to devote full time and attention to the road and to never drive impaired. He said that motorists need to be aware of their physical limitations as well.
“I understand from others who talked to the person who hit the building that she was young and riding with her mother,” Ms. DeMartin said. “When she took the turn at Northeast Front Street to make the turn on North Washington Street, she turned too wide and was about to hit a car head-on. Her mother grabbed the wheel to correct the issue and they ended up in the window of my shop. I am not sure if that is exactly what happened, but it seems as if the poor child panicked and the mother actually kept her from striking another vehicle head-on. That could have led to much more serious injuries than hitting my window.”
The Salon at Penney Square is housed in a building that has stood on the corner for decades. Penney Square gets its name from the J.C. Penney Department Store frequented by many in the Milford area and beyond for many years, until the company closed many of its smaller stores. After the closure of the department store, the building was used as a satellite campus for Goldey-Beacom College. Photos in the Milford Museum show that the National Hotel stood on this corner in 1828 and receipts housed at the museum from the 1870s show that it eventually became the Milford Hotel.
No one was injured in the accident, either in the vehicle or in the beauty salon.